Korean shipyards win half of world‘s ship orders in Q1
Korea continued to lead the world's shipbuilding market in the first quarter of 2012 by winning half of all global orders in terms of weight, the government said Thursday.
In the first quarter, the country's shipbuilders secured orders for 60 ships worth US$7.9 billion and totaling 1.93 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in the January-March period, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
The figure represents 50.7 percent of 3.80 million CGTs worth of global orders placed during the cited period. South Korea ranked No. 1 in terms of new shipbuilding orders won for the whole of 2011.
"Local yards continued to grab orders for value-added vessels like drill ships, gas carriers and large tankers," the ministry said in a press release.
The new ship building contracts secured came as the overall global economic slowdown and Europe's fiscal crisis caused orders for new ships to plunge 58.9 percent on-year to 199 vessels up till March, it said.
South Korean shipyards won new orders for high-tech ships such as floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels, and floating, storage, re-gasification unit (FSRU) ships. They also won all global orders for liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.
The orders for FPSO and FSRU ships reached US$2.0 billion and $280 million, respectively, with the nine LNG orders totaling over $1.9 billion.
China, the world's largest shipbuilding nation in terms of numbers, won 73 orders during the cited period. They, however, only amounted to 1.05 million CGTs in weight totaling $1.9 billion.
The ministry, meanwhile, said ship exports by South Korean shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries shrank 25 percent on-year in the January-March period to $12.3 billion.
Because of lingering uncertainties exports for the second quarter will be about the same as those tallied in the first three months of this year, it said. (Yonhap)